Hello all, long time lurker, first time poster. I apologize in advance for how long this post is going to be.
I'd really like to do a 2 week cycling tour in France (or Italy, but France is number one for now) in either a few years. I have some ideas of how I want to do it, but I wanted some input before I seriously started planning. Here's what I'm thinking:
- I would plan for 14 days of cycling with 2-4 flex days off for bad weather or dead legs.
- I would like to structure it similar to the Tour so that I'd be riding 100-200 kms per day from one town to another.
- I would like to hit the major climbs (d'Huez, Tourmalet).
The major questions I have are:
- If I stick to past Tour routes, will the roads be nice? Is the traffic bad?
- By the time I go, my current road bike will be old enough that I could send it over with me and not mind if I have to slog through rain for most of the trip.
- My bike is not a touring bike and I won't be putting panniers on it. I plan on stuffing all the tools and such in a saddle bag, and keeping one set of clothes in a small bag that I'll carry on the trip. I plan on washing my riding clothes at the hotel each day.
- I'm trying to think of all the things that I'd need to carry (patch kit, tubes, extra tire, tools, food, water, passports, money, clothes) but I'm not sure if I'm missing a lot of things which would make it impossible to do without either support or panniers.
I know this is a huge undertaking and doing a trip like this myself is not the easiest or best way to plan it, but I'd like to do it so that I can do my rides and my own pace and not be tied down by a scheduled tour. If you could help me out in any way (even if it's saying I'm bonkers) I'd appreciate it.
Oh, and I've done some Google searches on this but didn't really come up with much, so if you know there are existing threads with good info, please link or yell at me to search better.